Leading global food service retailer, McDonald’s is set to enter east Africa’s largest economy, Kenya, with invitation sent out to investors willing to secure a franchise license signalling an imminent entry.

The corporation, whose revenues come from the rent, royalties, and fees paid by the franchises, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants, says it is looking for investors who have retail experience and are willing to devote full time to the McDonald’s restaurant business. Such investors must also have a good knowledge of the real estate market and hold substantial capital.

“We will retain all information sent to us in a database and give you consideration if we take steps to develop McDonald’s restaurants in Kenya,” McDonald’s said in a statement.

McDonald’s had earlier in the year announced the company plans to expand into Africa. It was however not specific on the specific entry date.

Targeting Kenya’s growing middle class

McDonald’s will have other global players in the food retail business to compete with in Kenya, as Subway and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) are becoming well grounded in Nairobi and are stepping up their growth plans.

KFC entered East Africa about three years ago. It now has five restaurants and a sixth is in the cards already, with Kenya reported as the location.

Meanwhile Subway plans to add two new branches to its Kenyatta Avenue outlet in Nairobi. Domino’s Pizza and ColdStone Creamery will also open five new outlets in Nairobi and Mombasa.

The franchising contracts under which these food retail chains operate require a lot of capital, with KFC’s latest store costing $1 million (Sh90 million) to set up, according to Business Daily. However, the growing middle class of Kenya has made the market more attractive to foreign fast food chains.

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